“In fact, seven states with the lowest vaccination rates represent just about 8.5 percent of the U.S. population, but account for more than 17 percent of cases, and one in three cases nationwide occurred in Florida and Texas, this past week,” Zients said, per CNN. He explained that the bulk of the Florida and Texas cases are in parts of the states that have low vaccination rates.
Only around 49.7 percent of Americans are vaccinated, which is boosting the transmission of the Delta variant and pushing the healthcare system into overdrive once again. “There are still about 90 million eligible Americans who are unvaccinated,” Zients said. “And we need them to do their part, roll up their sleeves, and get vaccinated. Each and every shot matters.”
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, also said that daily cases have increased fourfold over the last two weeks. But he said the major uptick in cases has a “silver lining” in that people are understanding how vital the vaccine is.
“People are waking up to this,” Collins said. “That’s what desperately needs to happen if we are going to get this Delta variant put back in its place, because right now it is having a pretty big party in the middle of the country.”
Zients said there has been a surge in vaccinations in states with the highest case numbers. Vaccination rates have more than doubled, with an average increase of 171 percent across the eight states with the highest numbers of current cases.
“This increase in vaccination rates in states that have been lagging is a positive trend. Americans are seeing the risk and impact of being unvaccinated and responding with action. And that’s what it’s going to take to get us out of this pandemic,” Zients said.